Canadian Pharmacy Technician Programs


Accreditation Standards

Stages of Accreditation

Pre-Accreditation Stages

A new program at a college may be granted one of two pre-accreditation awards, depending upon its stage of development.  Pre-accreditation involves, in large measure, documentation and verification of planning in accord with standards and provision of reasonable assurances for a quality outcome.  Institutions wishing to obtain CCAPP accreditation will normally proceed from Qualifying to Provisional status before gaining Accreditation.  These stages of pre-accreditation status are intended to ensure programs develop systems, resources, curriculum, facilities, instructional faculty, and practice experiences in an organized manner.

Qualifying Status

A new program that has no students enrolled but has appointed a coordinator or director  may be granted qualifying accreditation. The granting of qualifying status confirms that a College’s  planning for the pharmacy technician program has taken into account CCAPP standards and suggests reasonable assurances of moving to the next step, the award of provisional accreditation.

Qualifying accreditation is generally permitted for up to two years, during which the program is expected to apply for provisional accreditation (provided the program has admitted students).  A program that has held qualifying status for two years but has not admitted its first class of students will be withdrawn from the pre-accreditation process unless information is provided by the college to satisfy the board that the program is making progress toward actual initiation.

Qualifying Accreditation status brings no rights and privileges of accreditation.  Full disclosure by the College of the term and conditions of this award is required.  The program is required to apply for accreditation during the term of the Qualifying Accreditation award.  If the program fails to apply for accreditation during the term of the Qualifying Accreditation award but goes on to admit and graduate students during that same time frame, the students are not considered to be graduates of an accredited program.

Provisional Accreditation

A new program that has students enrolled but has not graduated a class of students may be granted provisional accreditation. The granting of the provisional accreditation award denotes a developmental program that is expected to mature in accord with stated plans and within a defined time period. Reasonable assurances are expected that the program will be eligible for other categories of accreditation as programmatic experiences are gained, generally, by the time the first class has graduated.

A Provisional Accreditation award ends when the first admitted class has graduated.  The program is required to apply for accreditation during the term of the Provisional Accreditation award.

Graduates from a school designated as having provisional accreditation will be deemed by CCAPP to be graduates of an accredited program.


Accreditation Award Decisions

Evaluation reports from all pharmacy technician program site visits are referred to the CCAPP Accreditation Committee for Pharmacy Technician Programs (ACPTP). The ACPTP  reviews the evaluation report and, with the assistance of CCAPP staff, make a recommendation for an accreditation award to the CCAPP Board. In arriving at at decision, the board considers the accreditation history of the program; the application, the comprehensive internal review report and strategic plan submitted by the program; the site visit evaluation report; the College’s response to the evaluation report; and, any other relevant information.  In-person presentations to the Board from the College regarding theeir accreditation review will occur only at the request of the board.


Initial or continued Accreditation status is granted for up to five years if it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of CCAPP that the program complies with accreditation standards, including the appropriateness of program goals, the adequacy of resources and organization to meet these goals, educational outcomes which indicate these goals are being met, and that plans and commitments are in place to provide reasonable assurance that these goals will continue to be met.

All programs receiving an Accreditation award are required to submit an interim progress report at some point over the duration of the accreditation period. The due date of this interim progress report will be specified in the accreditation award letter. The required interim report should cover the period of time since the last comprehensive internal review report and include: changes in the academic program; changes in the financial resources available to the Faculty; changes in the academic staff; steps taken to deal with deficiencies identified in the site visit evaluation report; and, progress made in the implementation of the approved strategic plan; and, progress toward achieving Accreditation Standards that were published since the last site visit.

Conditional Accreditation

Conditional Accreditation reflects that there are concerns about the progress in addressing requirements of the Standards.  The timing of a Progress report will depend on the nature of the deficiencies.  Subject to the receipt of a Progress report and upon review of the extent to which deficiencies have been met, the Board may change the award to Accredited, if concerns have been adequately addressed, or Probation, if satisfactory progress has not been achieved.

Probationary Accreditation

Probationary Accreditation reflects that the program fails to comply with standards, or the program has minimal or non-compliance to some standards over two or more survey cycles that result in serious weaknesses in one or more major components of a program.  The maximum term of Probationary Accreditation is eighteen months.  An unannounced visit by CCAPP and Ministry officials may occur at any time during the probationary period at the program’s expense.

Within six months of receiving notice of Probationary Accreditation, the institution is required to show cause why the probationary status should be rescinded or to present sufficient evidence of improvement, or plans for improvement, to warrant restoration of conditional accreditation or accreditation.  It is the responsibility of the program and the college to address the non-compliance by submitting additional information, correcting the weaknesses in the deficient component, or considering whether the program should cease operation.  The chief executive officer of the institution and the Program Coordinator/Lead are given due notice of the Board’s decision to award Probationary Accreditation.

It is important that all constituents understand that a major goal of CCAPP is “to assist in the advancement and improvement of pharmaceutical education”. Hence, should a program receive probationary accreditation status, it is important that the College regularly seek CCAPP’s advice on the appropriate course of action to be followed.

Should the institution not demonstrate a commitment to rectifying identified deficiencies within one year after the six-month period given to show cause, the Board will withdraw Accreditation.

Withdrawal of Accreditation

Circumstances that would warrant withdrawal of accreditation are:

  • The program fails to meet the requirements of the Accreditation Standards.
  • Probationary Accreditation has been awarded and the program fails to address the required changes to achieve the basic structures, processes, and intended educational outcomes.
  • The accredited program is revised an no longer meets the requirements of the CCAPP Accreditation Standard (e.g., conversion to a program intended to develop pharmacy assistants, etc.).
  • The accredited program is without a graduate for a period of one year and has no registrants for a new cohort to commence within the same year.
  • The program fails to submit progress reports to the CCAPP Board in a timely fashion.
  • False or misleading statements are made publicly about the status, condition, or category of CCAPP Accreditation.
  • The program has Accreditation Fees in arrears for a time period in excess of 120 days.
  • The program ceases to operate.

Withdrawal of Accreditation becomes effective immediately.  If a program has received a Withdrawal of Accreditation award, the institution is required to submit a new request for accreditation.  The College must immediately advise students in the program, those who have been admitted to but not yet started the program, and applicants to the program that a Withdrawal of Accreditation award has been issued to the program.  The CCAPP Executive Director notifies the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, all Registrars of Canadian provincial pharmacy regulatory authorities, and the Provincial Ministry responsible for the school that a Withdrawal Accreditation award has been made.

Site Visit Cycle

Site visits normally will be conducted any time over a five year period for programs granted Accreditation or Conditional Accreditation. For programs on probationary accreditation, a site visit normally will be required prior to the restoration of Conditional Accreditation or Accreditation. Requests to defer a scheduled site visit will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, subsequent to a well-justified request from the college.

Accreditation Application

In a very general way, each school seeking accreditation is asked to define what it wants to achieve with its professional program – i.e. what is its mission – what are the intended outcomes?  It is asked to demonstrate that it has a program and the resources to produce those outcomes.  It is asked to have procedures for evaluating whether or not the desired outcomes are achieved.  Finally, it is asked to have a plan for correcting deficiencies and for incorporating new ideas into its program.

There are five steps in the accreditation process:

  1. The College/Program makes application for accreditation under CCAPP. The application is composed of three sets of documents:
    1. Application for Accreditation – providing information on personnel, budgets, enrolment, etc.
    2. Self-Assessment Report (also know as a Self-Study) – Guided by the Examples of Evidence for each Standard, this report provides in-depth information about the program.  The focus is on the present and the time since the last visit (i.e. “where we have been and where we are”).
    3. Strategic Plan – detailing the Program’s most current plan.  The plan focuses on “where you want to go and how you plan to get there”.
  2. A site visit evaluation of the Program is conducted by a three or four-member team composed of a CCAPP board member, the CCAPP Coordinator of Pharmacy Technician Programs , a pharmacy technician program faculty member, and the CCAPP executive director. The appropriate provincial regulatory authority (authorities) is (are) invited to appoint an observer to each site visit evaluation team.
    The team seeks information to supplement the Self-Assessment Report, determines the feasibility of the Strategic Plan, and prepares a draft report.
  3. The CCAPP Coordinator prepares a final report on the school that is submitted for consideration by the Accreditation Committee for Pharmacy Technician Programs (ACPTP).  ACPTP makes recommendations to the CCAPP board of directors.
  4. The board of directors makes a decision on the appropriate accreditation status to be granted to the pharmacy technician program and determines the time period and/or any conditions to be associated with the accreditation award.
  5. The College and the Program Coordinator/Lead are advised of the board’s decision and the accreditation status is published in the CCAPP Annual Directory.

Accreditation awards are granted for a specific term. Thus, an ongoing cycle of self-assessment, strategic planning and external review is established within each pharmacy school.


More information

Accredited Canadian Pharmacy Technician Programs Fees Historical Record of Accredited Pharmacy Technician Programs PTPC - Pharmacy Technician Program Committee